Interior Department Delays Oil and Gas Drilling

Washington, D.C. – The U-S Interior Department will begin delaying some new oil and gas drilling projects until the effects on wildlife are studied more thoroughly. But environmentalists are skeptical, since the department has routinely ignored its power to defer energy leases for the sake of wildlife. The Bureau of Land Management is rewriting 162 plans for managing vast areas, including land in southwestern Wyoming. Assistant Interior Secretary Rebecca Watson says federal officials can hold off offering new oil and gas leases if they think the current plans for protecting wildlife are not adequate.